Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#Winter #Solstice

The winter Solstice falls on December 21 this year, which marks the beginning of winter. It is the shortest day of the year, and on this date at the North Pole the sun never rises. As a sun-lover I always take note of the winter Solstice since every day thereafter, the days get imperceptibly longer until the summer Solstice. So, don’t lament the short day, celebrate the fact that it only gets better from here. Happy Solstice!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Adventure Scrapbook – Edinburgh, Scotland

No trip to Edinburgh would be complete without a trip to the city’s famous castle. The imposing fortress stands guard over the rest of the city below. Leading away from the castle is the famous Royal Mile lined with shops and pubs galore. A person could spend an entire day wandering this historic street its hidden closes. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Real Life Exaggerated

Fishing stories, the concept has become synonymous with exaggeration. No harm is ever intended, but after countless retelling the story often morphs into something much more interesting and exciting than the original. The two-pound fish that took several minutes to reel in eventually evolves into an eight-pound monster which battled valiantly for half an hour before succumbing to your superior skill. This is how many of my real-life adventures have infiltrated my adventure and romantic suspense novels.

I’ve explored numerous Mayan ruins tucked into steamy bug-infested jungles in several countries, yet I’ve always managed to avoid ruthless kidnappers; I’ve pondered the current of the Rio Grande, sticking my toe in to test the waters, but have suppressed the urge to jump into the churning mud and attempt an illegal border crossing; and I have ridden horseback down a terrifyingly steep slope while I clutched the horn with all my might and scenes from Man From Snowy River flashed through my mind, all without a single gunshot from a foreign enemy aimed at me or my trusted steed. If you’ve read my novels you may recognize some of these scenes, grossly exaggerated, of course. If you haven’t, I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity enough to give one of them a try.

To check out any of these adventures on Amazon click on any book  cover/link to the right.. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Song of the Shepard Woman - #Christian Fiction

Carlene Havel writes historical stories set in Biblical times.  Today she’s sharing some background on the creation of her latest release, “Song of the Shepard Woman”.
One of the questions I’m asked most often about writing books is, “Where do you get your ideas?”  The short answer is I don’t know. Thoughts bubble and coalesce around a theme, and the plot for another story begins to form—at least that’s the process for me.  My latest release, “Song of the Shepherd Woman” began at Christmastime, although it’s not a Christmas story per se.
As I read through the familiar verses from the second chapter of Luke, the shepherds abiding in the fields captured my imagination.  How amazed they were to receive Christ’s birth announcement from an angelic choir.  What joy and hope they must have felt as they ran to the stable in Bethlehem. How did others react to their story afterwards? Was it possible people thought the shepherds drank too much wine? Or simply fabricated a fantastic story? And what if one of the shepherds had a child, a baby boy, who happened to be in Bethlehem when the soldiers came looking for the Christ child? A character took shape, a disappointed idealist, a man whose life and dreams were shattered early in his life. But suppose, after years of bitterness, this man was given another chance to believe? Maybe in his old age he and his wife were unexpectedly given another child to raise. What if…
Writing “Song of the Shepherd Woman”, like all of my books, was a labor of love. Sharon Faucheux wove her historical research into my narrative, resulting in a story we hope readers will love as much as we do.  We are offering this full length novel at an introductory price of 99 cents for a while, and it’s available just about everywhere ebooks can be found.  Here are some links:
Click here to buy on Amazon for only $0.99 for a limited time.
Blurb: In the first century, Channa’s stepfather gives her to her maternal great-uncle Avram to raise.  He is known to be a peculiar, perhaps dangerous, man with a wife who cannot speak.  Nevertheless, they are kind to Channah and teach her how to care for sheep. When her stepfather unexpectedly announces her betrothal to a Jerusalem tanner, the girl is forced to leave the only home she knows. 

Channah looks forward to a loving husband, but soon learns she is to be Enos the tanner’s second wife. The beautiful first wife is barren, and she resents her youthful rival. Channa struggles to adjust to marriage and city life, cherishing the hope of someday having her own child to love.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Last #Free Access to National Parks for 2017

The last chance in 2017 to enter your National Parks for free is Veteran's Day Weekend, November 11-12. Hopefully the roads in your favorite park are still open for the season. For more information about fee-free days visit https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

Monday, November 6, 2017

Adventure Scrapbook – Greenock, Scotland

This small village is located on the south bank of the Clyde River where it expands into the Firth of Clyde. Greenock is small, but its people are friendly and it’s a great place to start discovering the nuances of Scotch.  

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Nod to November

There’s a lot going on in November. To make sure you don’t miss any of the fun, make sure you change your clocks for Daylight Savings time on November 5. Here are a few more dates to keep in mind.

U.S. General Election Day – November 5
Veteran’s Day – November 11
Caregiver Appreciation Day – November 13
Great American Smoteout – November 16
Universal Children’s Day – November 21
Thanksgiving Day – November 23

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween! Enjoy the holiday and my favorite Farside cartoon.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Current, Concise, and Personal

For those who are already following my author Facebook page or who have “liked” it, thank you. It you haven’t checked it out, please do. The content is more current, concise, personal, and as with all Facebook content, as interactive as you like.  https://www.facebook.com/KimMcMahillAuthor/

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Adventure Scrapbook – Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is an amazing city. Aside from a visit to the Guinness Storehouse for a pint of their famous “black stuff,” there is so much to do and see that I’m not sure how much time a person would have to spend to take it all in. From wandering the lively streets to absorbing the ambiance of Trinity College, Dublin has something for everyone.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Monthly Ebook #Giveaway

I always like to pass on information about contests and other freebies, especially when one of the ebooks to be given away is my very own novel, A Taste of Tragedy. Each month Constance Bretes puts out a newsletter and hosts an ebook giveaway on her blog. Go to http://www.constancebretes.com/news--things.html for more information and to enter. The giveaway runs October 4 – 31. Good Luck!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Adventure Scrapbook – Kinsale, Ireland

Kinsale is a picturesque seaside village with a lot of history. Ruins of forts guard the entrance to the bay. On a non-rainy, there are few places more idyllic for a stroll.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Risky Research Series

The third novel in my Risky 
Research series, A Foundation of Fear, is in the editing phase and I don't have a release date yet. In this novel we'll learn that even the most deadly assassin has plenty to fear. If you haven’t read the first two books in the series I hope you will do so before the third is released. The Risky Research series explores how far a deadly group will go to control a diet product industry worth billions, and the lengths two dedicated FBI agents will go to stop them. The first in the series, A Dose of Danger, is set mostly where I grew up in Wyoming. The story begins when a researcher and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart. In the second book, A Taste of Tragedy, a corporate executive discovers the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, placing her in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets. Click on any linked book title to be taken directly to Amazon. #weightloss

Friday, October 13, 2017

Adventure Scrapbook – Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is one of those must-see sites if visiting Cork, Ireland. The castle ruins aren’t much, but the tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone has made the castle a pilgrimage site to many. Most Irish we talked to knew where the Blarney Stone came from, but weren’t as confident on where the practice of kissing the stone came from. Aside from the castle and the stone, however, the grounds are amazing and worth a visit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Picking Daisy

I’m pleased to welcome Kimberly Miller to my blog. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, their two children, and a cat who barely tolerates them. By day, Kimberly teaches film and writing courses, but at night she enjoys reading, watching movies, making jewelry, and baking and eating desserts that mainly consist of chocolate. Kimberly has recently released her debut novel, Picking Daisy. I’ve included a blurb and excerpt below for her highly rated clean romance novel. I hope you will check out her new release. You can learn more about Kimberly on her website at http://millerkm.weebly.com/ or at her blog
https://kimberlymmiller.wordpress.com/. Click here  or on the book title above to be taken directly to her novel on Amazon.

Daisy Parker isn’t the woman that rock star Robby Grant would have imagined himself falling for. She’s soft-spoken, sweet, and lives by a strange code the struggling musician is recognizing as Biblical.
And he’s helpless against it.
Even if Daisy is hard-pressed to believe that a man like Robby would see her—a woman long forgotten by the rest of the world—as anything more than a step back to his career.
But Robby challenges Daisy in ways she’d long avoided.
With their mutual love of music, it seems nothing can separate them—not Daisy’s wheelchair or Robby’s ego.
As Robby grows into the man he’s long dreamed of being, Daisy dares to trust again. But will this sweet melody last?

Daisy cursed her wheelchair, reaching for the phone that Robby held out of her grasp. Clearly, he was angry too. His face grew redder with each second. Would he hit her?
“Since it’s all over the news, I’ll bet you know I’ve been in rehab six times. Impressive, huh? Six?! And this last one was nothing to sneeze at. I lost my girlfriend, my friends, and even most of my family. Now, my career is shot until I come up with something...and I am not about to stop until I get back on that stage again. If I can’t control anything else in my life at least I can try to take back what’s left of my career. But I’m on a timeline. And you will help me.”
The rage in his eyes should have scared her, but Daisy refused to be intimidated. Her ex-boyfriend was worse. She just wished she could knee Robby in a place that would jerk him back to reality. She managed to glare instead.
“Maybe you should take a deep breath and come up with a plan that doesn’t include me.”  She crossed her arms over her chest and stared at Robby defiantly, trying to ignore that he truly was a very handsome man with a commanding presence. The clarity in his eyes and the muscles in his arms both surprised and unsettled her. A scrawny, weak, and strung-out Robby she’d have expected and could have handled. This man was unexpectedly healthy, yet he was also angry, hurt, and alone. She saw it in his eyes. And she realized what was happening.
“I’m stuck…” Robby said weakly. “This is exactly what I need…”

Oh, no, Lord, Daisy pleaded silently. I can’t even help myself. How am I supposed to help him? And yet no answer came. But even in the silence, Daisy understood.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Myths Surrounding #Crystal #Skulls

Shrouded In Secrets is an archeological thriller that takes the reader on a wild ride around the globe, from Egypt, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and more. The premise of this story revolves around thirteen mythical crystal skulls. The skulls in actual existence have always been surrounded with speculation, uncertainty, and legend, though most recently experts are leaning toward the relics not being truly ancient. No matter what the truth is concerning the skulls the myths surrounding them have made great fodder for fiction and an extreme adventure. Click on the book title to be taken directly to Amazon.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Contemporary #Western Romantic Thriller

BigHorn Storm is a contemporary western romantic thriller set in Wyoming. I’ve always kind of thought of it as a modern-day Red Dawn on horseback with adults. I grew up on horseback and one of the most dramatic horseback escapes in the book is an embellishment on a teenage memory while helping out on a cattle drive. Storm is based on a horse from my childhood and the Bighorn National Forest is truly as beautiful and extreme as the story depicts. Click on the book title to be taken directly to Amazon. #Wyoming

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Insight into October

There’s a lot happening in October, including one of those infamous “Friday the Thirteenth” days (if you are superstitious). Here’s a few other special days to keep in mind.

International Day for the Elderly, October 1
World Smile Day, October 6 (first Friday of the Month)
Columbus Day, October 9 (second Monday of the Month)
Thanksgiving Day in Canada, October 9
Boss’s Day, October 16
Sweetest Day, October 21 (third Saturday of the Month)
United Nations Day, October 24
Make a Difference Day, October 28 (fourth Saturday of the Month)

Halloween, October 31

Thursday, September 28, 2017

#Free Access to National Parks

During 2017 ten days were set aside as free admission days into all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee. We’re down to the last two for 2017, so don’t miss out on this opportunity. The final free days will be on September 30, National Public Lands Day, and November 11-12, Veterans Day Weekend. For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

Monday, September 25, 2017

Why we Travel

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” 
Pico Iyer

Friday, September 22, 2017

Deadly Exodus into #Mexico

Deadly Exodus takes place in New Mexico and Texas, culminating in a harrowing attempt to cross the border into Mexico. Yes, you read correctly, the characters are trying to escape into Mexico. Deadly Exodus is a gritty dystopian thriller, but don’t panic if you’re not into sci-fi. The technology in the book is currently available, though not in mainstream use. As with most of my books, it is an adventure with plenty of suspense, but also has a forbidden romance. Is the government becoming too powerful to challenge? Click on the book title to be taken directly to Amazon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To Travel is to Live

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.” 
Hans Christian AndersenThe Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Marked In #Mexico

Marked In Mexico, my fourth novel and first published by Prism Book Group, continues to hold a special place in my heart and it continues to be one of my best sellers. Marked in Mexico is pure adventure with a healthy dose of romantic suspense. In the story the characters are inadvertently thrust into a deadly situation where they are forced to fight for survival in the remote jungles of Mexico. Throughout their shared struggles they forge a bond that will last a life time. The action takes off in earnest at the magnificent Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, a place I’ve visited often. Click on the book title to be directed to Amazon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Series of Interesting Guesses

“But that's the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don't want to know what people are talking about. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” 
Bill BrysonNeither Here nor There: Travels in Europe

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Welcome to my World

For those of you who are not familiar with my writing, welcome to my blog. I thought it might not hurt to scatter a few posts in for the next month or so to share a bit about my craft. I primarily write adventure and romantic suspense, although my latest project, the Risky Research Series, adds a criminal fiction element (more on that in another post). My goal is simple—to entertain the reader with stories of survival against the odds and take them on outrageous adventures around the U.S. and the world. I hope you’ll check back as I reveal a little more about my stories and the adventures that inspired them.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Leave Something Behind

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” 
Pascal MercierNight Train to Lisbon

Monday, September 4, 2017

Adventures through Reading

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” 
Anna QuindlenHow Reading Changed My Life

Friday, September 1, 2017

September Days to Remember

Here’s a small sampling of what’s happening in September.

September 4 – Labor Day
September 10 – Grandparents Day
September 11 – 911 Remembrance
September 17 – Constitution Day
September 21 – International Peace Day
September 22 – Fall Equinox
September 22 – Native American Day

September 23 – Oktoberfest begins in Germany

Sunday, August 27, 2017

#Win a #Kindle or Amazon Gift Cards

Last Chance, the Summer Holiday Reads promotion ends on August 31, 2017. You could win a Kindle Fire eReader and Amazon gift cards ranging in value from $10.00 to $50.00. Here’s the contest link: https://www.booksandmore.club/monthly-giveaway

Thursday, August 24, 2017

#Free Access to National Parks

During 2017 ten days were set aside as free admission days into all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee. Most have already past, but there are still a few opportunities to enjoy our National Parks for free. Mark your calendar for August 25, the National Park Services’ Birthday and the next free entrance day. For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

The last two free days will be on September 30, National Public Lands Day, and November 11-12, Veterans Day Weekend.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Adventure Scrapbook – Where Deserts Collide

The Mojave and Colorado deserts are both represented in Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua trees can be found in the higher elevations of the Mojave, while the lower Colorado Desert is populated by cholla cactus, ocotillo, and creosote bushes.  Aside from the namesake feature, there is plenty more to see including a myriad of plant and animal life, unique geological features, and remnants of the area’s human and cultural history dot the landscape. For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/jotr

Friday, August 18, 2017

Adventure Inspirations – A Richer Experience

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt" 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hooked on a Taste of Tragedy at #MFRWHooks

On the last Book Hooks blog hop I participated in a couple weeks ago I provided a short excerpt and blurb from the first novel in the Risky Research Series, A Dose of Danger (scroll down a few posts to view). This week I’ll offer up A Taste of Tragedy, book two in the series. Book three, A Foundation of Fear, is in editing and the release date will be announced soon. Hope you enjoy this little taste of action.
Devyn scrambled out of the gully and cut across the raised ground above the bend in the creek. Inching out toward the edge, she peered over and spotted her target. His back was to her. She had a clean shot, but this time she was determined to get answers. Dead men couldn’t talk.
She quietly set her gun on a rock, where she knew she could find it quickly. Stepping closer, she leapt.
Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed...until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving. 
For information on all of my adventure novels, please follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KimMcMahillAuthor/. Click on a blue underlined title to download A Taste of Tragedy or a A Dose of Danger from Amazon.

For more book hooks from other great writers visit any of the blogs below or go to http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Adventure Scrapbook – Found Nowhere Else On Earth

Located northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada near the border with California, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a fascinating and unique ecosystem. The refuge was established in 1984, and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. Over 23,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert uplands protect a number of threatened and endangered species found nowhere else in the world. Water from over 100 miles to the northeast enters a vast aquifer system and slowly moves underground until it is forced to the surface by a geological fault. The seeps and springs created as the water reaches the surface make the refuge a unique spot in the dry Mojave Desert. The visual contrast between the desert and the wetlands, along with its wide array of plant and animal life are well worth the detour on the way to Death Valley. For more information visit http://www.fws.gov/refuge/ash_meadows 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Adventure Inspirations – To Experience Adventure

“You’ve been so long in the rain, you feel like a dirty dish rag. But despite the misery of your water soaked body, you look around to see verdant leaves dripping with water. The air entering your lungs smells vibrantly clean. To experience adventure, you must be willing to be uncomfortable at times and enjoy the loneliness by being happy with your own singing. A song pops out of your mouth… "It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was fine…”  

- Frosty Wooldridge-

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Smokey

Smokey Bear turns 73 today. Celebrate by continuing this icon's good work.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

#Kindle Fire and Gift Card #Giveaway

Don’t miss out on the Summer Holiday Reads promotion running through August 31. Prizes include a Kindle eReader and Amazon gift cards. Here’s the contest link: https://www.booksandmore.club/monthly-giveaway. Good Luck!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August Picnic

Judging by the list of “National Days” in August, the month is clearly the month of camp outs and picnics. August 3rd is National Watermelon Day, the 10th is National S’mores Day, and the 30th is National Marshmallow Toasting Day. So, get out there and celebrate the waning days of summer with a cookout with friends and family

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hop Into Adventure With #MFRWHooks

Welcome to this week’s Book Hooks blog hop. I’m pleased to provide a few sentences from the first novel in the Risky Research Series, A Dose of Danger. The second novel in this romantic suspense series is A Taste of Tragedy, and the third, A Foundation of Fear, is in the editing phase with my publisher (release date to be determined).  
“You already have more than a full-time career. This situation will most likely be long-term, so I need to get into a rhythm with the chores and my job, and not get too dependent upon your kindness and nice muscles,” she added with a shy smile. 

“So you like my muscles?”

“Don’t let it go to your head, Deputy. Remember I work with a bunch of researchers, PhDs, and marketing executives.”

He laughed as he turned and walked out the door.

Grace stood on the porch and watched until the truck’s taillights disappeared over the rise.

Just my luck, I may have met “Mr. Right,” and the timing couldn’t be more wrong.

When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they become targets of a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes she must trust the
deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?

For information on all my adventure novels, including my newest release, ADose of Danger, please follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill or visit my author page at https://www.facebook.com/KimMcMahillAuthor/. Click on any book title highlighted in blue to download from Amazon.

For more book hooks from other great writers visit http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sweet Pea Paradise

I'm always bragging on my tiny garden. As usual I have tomatoes galore, zucchini, cucumbers, and lettuce, but this year I decided to ditch the beans and go with sweet peas. I had a difficult time ever getting enough beans at the same stage of maturity to cook up. But, since I prefer peas raw and fresh as opposed to cooked, problem solved. Since July I've had a steady stream of healthy snack straight from the garden. I may have gotten a little carried away and they've taken over, but they'll soon be gone, leaving plenty of room for the rest of the plants to dominate.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Pursuit of National Happiness

I’ve never been to Bhutan, but I’ve always dreamed of visiting this landlocked country nestled in the Himalayas. One of the most intriguing aspects of this country is the idea of Gross National Happiness. The core philosophy behind the concept of Gross National Happiness is to enable development while promoting the attainment of happiness. The four main pillars of Gross National Happiness are equitable and equal socio-economic development; preservation and promotion of cultural and spiritual heritage; conservation of environment; and good governance which are interwoven, complementary, and consistent.

The concept may not be attainable in a country the size of the United States or compatible with our democratic system, but the ideals are worth considering and incorporating into life and government where possible. Often the pursuit of prosperity doesn’t equate to happiness or the protection of the environment, but maybe it’s possible to strike a balance. To learn more about Bhutan and its Gross National Happiness concept, visit http://www.tourism.gov.bt/about-bhutan/Gross-National-Happiness

Monday, July 24, 2017

Georgetown Loop of Colorado

Most weekends we feel lucky to have a day to get outside and explore, so we look for unique experiences doable in a day. Recently we drove 45 miles west of Denver on 1-70 to Georgetown, Colorado. We wandered the streets of this quaint town, which along with nearby Silver Plume, boasts one of the largest concentrations of Victorian homes in the United States. Georgetown began as a mining camp in 1859 because of the abundant gold and silver in the surrounding mountains. Now people are drawn to the area for its historic significance, picturesque towns, and its idyllic location in the Rocky Mountains.

A few miles outside of Georgetown in Silver Plume (elevation 9,178 feet) we boarded the Georgetown Loop train and visited the Lebanon Mine, both are part of the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park. The weather was spectacular, we learned a lot about local mining from the 1870’s through the 1920’s during our guided tour 1,000 feet deep into the Lebanon Mine, and the scenery of the Rocky Mountains never disappoints.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I purchased the three big beautiful raspberries at a grocery store known for its produce. The handful of small berries came from my backyard. If given a choice one might be tempted to reach for the large plump berries. The reality is that the small less-than-perfect berries taste like heavenly little drops of sweet goodness, while the large berries had very little taste at all. Not only have my imperfect raspberries been a surprising treat, but they have reminded me of a couple of old adages we should always keep in mind—don’t judge a book by its cover and looks can be deceiving.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cussler’s Classic Cars

Whether you are a classic car enthusiast or a fan of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels, I highly recommend a visit to the Cussler Museum located in Arvada, Colorado. The museum showcases approximately 70 of the 100 cars in its collection, and the cars rotate annually, so if you keep coming back you’ll eventually see them all. Cars which have appeared in Dirk Pitt novels are identified by a copy of the novel and a brief note in the car’s description placard. Even though I don’t know a lot about old cars, there was no mistaking the quality of this amazing collection. For more information visit www.cusslermuseum.com.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Contemporary Western Cowboy

What good is a contemporary western adventure without a smoking hot cowboy that makes the reader cheer for a happily-ever-after ending. In Big Horn Storm, Niki finds herself in a fight for survival with her childhood infatuation, Deuce. Here’s a short excerpt from when she arrives at the ranch.

Niki couldn’t see Robert Mitchell Blackburn II, known to friends and family as Deuce, but his deep voice gave away his location. No doubt his tall muscular frame stood just inside the barn door, concealed in the shadows. Even though he was hidden from view, she could describe every detail of his unruly hair peeking out from under his beat-up and sweat-stained straw cowboy hat, the scrutinizing look in his hazel eyes, his tanned complexion, and the scuffs on the heels of his boots where his spurs had worn on the leather. Dark stubble would shadow his chin and above his lip, and his sleeves would be rolled up on his denim shirt. She hated the fact that not only could she see him clearly in her mind now, but she could picture him just as clearly nearly every day of her life no matter how hard she tried to keep him out of her head.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Horse vs Dirt Bike

Today, I thought I’d give you an excerpt from Big Horn Storm that would have been tough to write without a little real life experience to back it up.
With a prayer and a swift kick, Niki informed Storm it was time to run for their lives. The horse sensed the danger and cleared the edge of the ravine before the men could react. Niki held on as tight as she could and leaned back to help the horse keep his balance as he lunged down the slope. Rocks dislodged under the fury of his churning hooves as he barreled down the embankment.
They had nearly reached the creek when the first series of shots rang out. Storm shied and turned to follow the creek downstream rather than plunging into the water with its slick bottom at an uncontrolled speed. Another barrage of gunfire pelted the ground, narrowly missing Niki, but hitting nearby rocks, spraying the horse with sharp stone fragments.
A slight bend in the ravine took them out of sight of the shooters and soon the slope was much less intimidating, making it easier for Storm to cross the creek and climb out of the ravine.  Niki released a sigh of relief and encouraged the horse to take it easy as he began his ascent. They had just reached the top when Niki heard the unmistakable sound of two dirt bikes’ engines firing up.
“I hope you have a little more left,” she whispered as she leaned over Storm’s neck, flattening herself against his steaming body.
Her position was all the encouragement the horse needed. Storm stretched out to a full run. His speed and endurance amazed her, but she knew they needed to reach the cover of the thick forest on the other side of the clearing as quickly as possible. Storm had already been galloping for hours before they had even reached the tower, so she doubted he would be able to outrun the dirt bikes for long or dodge the bullets that would come once the soldiers reached the flat meadow.
Niki stole a glance back. The bikes had cleared the ravine’s lip and were rapidly closing in. She looked ahead and estimated they were still a quarter of a mile from a dense stand of trees. Several bullets landed well to the right of Niki, doing no damage, but the noise spurred another burst of speed from the gelding. She fought the urge to look back again—it would serve no purpose. Instead, she kept herself low and her head down to help Storm as much as possible and to minimize the size of target her body presented.
The distance between her and the trees narrowed, but the bikes sounded closer. Another shot narrowly missed as Storm dove into the thin stand of pine. The horse slowed slightly, having to navigate through an old blow-down as if it were an obstacle course. She knew the fallen trees would slow the dirt bikes even more since they would have no choice but to find an alternate route around the jumble of timber, resembling a giant game of pick-up-sticks.
Niki remained low to the horse’s neck as he wove in and out of trees, branches slapping violently, threatening to dislodge her from Storm’s back. He stumbled several times as he maneuvered through the erratically strewn timber, but regained his footing and continued to run. She clung to the horn, hoping the horse knew what he was doing, doubting she still had the ability to think quickly or clearly enough to make a good decision, nor did she want to risk a look up for fear of being stabbed in the eye by a low-hanging branch.
Storm leapt over logs and wove his way around everything he couldn’t clear. His nose was stretched out as if reaching for the finish line at the Kentucky Derby. His breathing huffed above the pounding of his hooves and the breaking of branches and Niki hoped his strength and endurance would last until they were safely away from the armed men.

As the horse finally managed to put distance between them and the sound of the bikes, Niki took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. The noise of the engines had all but faded when she dared her first glimpse up since entering the trees. The sight brought a gasp from her lips. The sheer drop off was the last thing she saw as Storm launched himself over the edge without hesitation.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

How to Write Western Action

Life embellished has been essential in writing certain scenes in my novels, especially for Big Horn Storm. When I was a teen, my dad and I were helping friends drive their cattle to a high grazing lease for the summer. By the time we reached the steepest, last big push, the cows were getting tired and a few decided it would be easier to slide back down the mountain than to keep climbing. My dad was on a green-broke colt which wasn’t as surefooted as my palomino gelding, and she was getting a little tired with her heavier load. To make a long story short, my dad told me to go after them. I looked at him like he was mad, but nudged my horse, assuming he wouldn’t go if he thought it was too steep. He was a good cow horse, so he didn’t hesitate to plunge over the edge after the cattle. The slope was too steep and the dirt too loose to stop and I ended up beating the cows to the bottom. As calmly as possible with one’s life flashing before her eyes, I gathered the cows up and herded them back to the dirt road where my dad was waiting to help me guide the cows up the hill to the rest of the herd. I still occasionally have those, “Man From Snowy River,” flashbacks, but the experience did help me write a couple scenes in Big Horn Storm.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

#Kindle Fire and Gift Card #Giveaway

Don’t miss out on the Summer Holiday Reads promotion running through August 31. Prizes include a Kindle eReader and Amazon gift cards. Here’s the contest link: https://www.booksandmore.club/monthly-giveaway. Good Luck!